It may be the only way, in fact: One of the biggest obstacles to a potential manned space mission to Mars is finding the almost $150 billion dollars needed to get it off the ground, so to speak. Tagging a future spaceship with Bud Light’s famous tagline “Drinkability” may seem ridiculous, but that what Rhawn Joseph, a scientist with the Brain Research Laboratory in California, proposed in the latest issue of the Journal of Cosmology. It would certainly be an adventure in product integration as much as a space adventure!
He estimates the sale of “naming rights” to Mars landing craft, the Mars Colony, etc., would yield an estimated $30 billion. Television broadcasting rights would bring in an estimated $30 billion. This comes to a total of up to $160 billion, and does not include the sale of Mars’ real estate and mineral rights and other commercial ventures.
“Other than paying for one of the greatest achievements of all time and the technological revolution that would result, is it worth $145 billion in expenditures, over a 10-year period, to conquer an entire planet and to lay claim to the vast wealth which may lay beneath the surface?” he postulated.
“The Human Mission to Mars, can be marketed and sold as the ultimate sports and reality TV extravaganza with the conquest of an entire planet as the ultimate prize. Astronauts from around the world, each with their compelling life stories, would compete against one another to be selected for the Mars’ teams; Mars’ teams would compete against one another to be the first to land on the Red Planet, and all astronauts would be competing against the possibility of death. Astronauts would be marketed for what they are: heroes and athletes in superb physical and mental condition.
Merchandise, from toys to clothing, featuring anything and everything associated with the Human Mission to Mars, can be marketed and sold, including official astronaut jerseys, with the names of favorite astronauts emblazoned on front and back. Then there are product endorsements by the most popular astronauts, with all income going to support and pay for the Human Mission to Mars,” Joseph noted.
However, Brian Collins, the former CEO at Ogilvy & Mather and now the creative director and designer of private firm Collins told Fox News FoxNews.com noted there’s a big difference between naming Wrigley Field and branding a spaceship: “People aren’t harnessing baseball players to explosives to send them to another planet,” he joked. The risk is serious, though, Collins notes, and a possible reason for hesitation among businesses. Sure, the connection to space travel has positive connotations, but it’s also a risk: what happens if something goes wrong?”
Collins believes that in addition to the inspiration to the nation astronaut heroes present, the effort would need someone with a voice, not a brand. Someone who has a public presence. Steve Jobs with Apple, Larry Ellison with Oracle, Richard Branson with Virgin. Or Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com,” he told FoxNews.com. “Someone like that who’s willing to recognize the risk and also the reward, and would be able to be the voice of the brand to the world as the journey unfolds.”
The FoxNews.com story had attempted to contact multiple big-dollar advertisers on their opinions for such a venture, but they had no comment or little comment.
RBR-TVBR observation: As detailed in this proposal, a corporation would have to be formed, something like “The Human Mission to Mars Corporation,” and given an exclusive mandate and exclusive licensing rights by the U.S. Congress and other participating nations. You will note he said “nations.” With the current state of NASA and funding, we’re not sure the infrastructure is there for NASA to do something like this alone. Nevertheless, if it could all be pulled together, it would make “Idol” ratings seem insignificant.